WEDEL, Germany — It’s no longer just a game, but it’s still fun.
Former Fredericktown High School basketball standout and Stonehill College graduate Ryan Logan continues on his professional basketball journey. About two months after signing a contract to play in Germany for Wedel of the Pro-B league, he seems to have settled in to life in his new home-away-from-home.
“Wedel is 20 minutes from Hamburg,” Logan explained. “It’s the Pro-B league in Germany. There’s Pro-B, a Pro-A and then the Bundesliga (Bundes League). We get to travel all over Germany. We were near the Czech Republic, playing in Dresden, about two weeks ago. I’ve been to Berlin and a bunch of other places.”
Along the way, Logan is expanding his horizons.
“Hamburg is a beautiful city and there’s a ton of history there,” Logan said. “Then, there’s Dresden, which also is beautiful. We don’t get to go around and sightsee these places so much, but we get to drive through them and enjoy them. A lot of beautiful, old historic buildings. Pretty cool to see.”
Logan spent last season averaging 22.3 points per game for the Heffigen team in Luxembourg, where he averaged 1.7 steals and nearly 10 rebounds per game. He seems to have picked up in Germany, right where he left off in Luxembourg.
“I got (to Wedel) on September 14th,” Logan said. “My agent sent my highlight video around to people he knows with my information. Usually, when someone says they’re interested, we follow up. If they’re not interested, we just keep looking. It’s tough sometimes, because a lot of it is out of my hands. In the summer, there are times that I’m sitting back, kind of waiting, unfortunately. I had about four or five different things fall through before I came across this chance. It was something that came open at the last second.”
Logan took elementary German in college, but admittedly forgot much of it. Despite that, he seems to be adjusting well.
“The pace here is a little slower for me,” Logan said. “I think that living in Massachusetts, and going to college there for four years, sped up my pace a bit. People here are different, but they’re generally friendly. The only barrier I have is not speaking German. Fortunately, for the most part, they speak English too. That’s good for me, so I can get by without any issues.”
Like the cultural differences in Europe, Logan takes the differences on the court in stride.
“Basketball is a little different here, but it’s gotten a lot more Americanized,” Logan said. “There’s a lot of Americans on the court and some American coaches. Some of the rules are different, but I’m used to it.”
On the hardwood, Logan is a man of many talents, much the way he was when he played three different sports at Fredericktown. Last Saturday, Logan put up 12 points for Wedel, going 5-for-10 from the floor. He landed two of those from three-point range. The 6-foot-7 forward added five rebounds, with four of them coming on the offensive boards. He also had three assists and four steals to help extend Wedel’s winning streak to four straight. He scored in double figures in all four of those games, averaging 15.3 points per game.
“I’m just kind of bouncing around, the way I’ve always been doing,” Logan said. “I play point or forward. I’m just playing the game I’ve always played. Wherever they need me I just go out and do the best I can.”
Although it isn’t the No. 1 sport in Germany, basketball has a strong following.
“It’s pretty big here,” Logan said. “Especially in Hamburg. There’s obviously soccer or football, which is the most popular sport in Europe. Basketball is probably the second biggest sport for sure. The NBA is more popularized and commercialized in the United States, but it’s still big here. They all have their favorite players. They’re just huge basketball fans like we are in the United States, but they just don’t get to see as many games as we do.”
The food in Germany isn’t everything one might expect. Germany is multi-cultural like the rest of Europe, and Logan has indulged.
“A lot of the food here is really good,” Logan said. “There’s a big Turkish community here, especially where I am. I’ve been trying some of their cooking out and they have some really good pizza. They make kebab pizza and I get into that a lot. The German food is also very, very good as well, so I can hardly complain.”
Pizza on a stick?
“There’s no pepperoni,” Logan explained. “There’s the kebab meat and everything like that. It’s really good.”
While it sounds nice, Logan misses his family and friends in Knox County.
“It’s tough being over here, but the second year is easier,” Logan said. “Plus, I’m used to it a little more because of being in school in Massachusetts for four years. I enjoy it over here and I get to play basketball for a living so, it’s a really nice setup.”
Logan will always be a Freddie, adding some words of encouragement to his former school.
“Go Fredericktown!” he said. “I hope you guys have a good winter sports season and take home lots of hardware.”